If Gotham’s taught me anything, it’s that everyone knows everyone in Gotham City and each one of them seems to have a snitch – Oswald Cobblepot, to be precise. You’d certainly think that ratting on either side of the fence this past season would keep Oswald a very busy man; maybe a lot busier than he’s been hanging umbrellas from the ceiling of Fish Mooney’s nightclub. It’s been a while since Gotham‘s Penguin called more shots than he poured and it’s hard to say what light this week’s Everyone Has a Cobblepot wants to shine on our crazy neighborhood barkeep – good, bad, or just plain kooky like the rest of this series, complements of a title that sounds like a potty training manual.
Some Spoilers Follow
As large of a shadow as the mob’s cast over the series, it’s always been the stink of the GCPD that’s smelled the foulest. Of course, Jim Gordon and the DA turn to who else but Oswald to dig up dirt on Commissioner Loeb with a reluctant Harvey Bullock in tow. The story hits most of the beats we’ve come to expect since the show’s picked up since its midseason finale. That Gordon’s more willing to get his hands dirty or that Bullock’s still willing to backstab Gordon is nothing new and far less exciting than the two’s attempted suicide mission against Falcone ages ago. As I’ve said before, I do enjoy watching Donal Logue’s Bullock in action, even if it means an interrogation in a speeding car.
It’s all the better that this week finally drug out its Cobblepot in question to complete what made for a surprisingly great trio amidst the three’s road trip to uncover Loeb’s “hideout.” I don’t know what’s gone on with his hair – which has gone from an emo-cut to mop head – and I’m not sure why he and Gordon should be so inescapable so long after their pier-side chat half-a-season ago. I am, however, pleased if it results in any more of Robin Lord Taylor’s impeccably timed quips (“Did you expect it to say, ‘secret hideout’?”).
I’m even more interested about just what’s driving Oswald these days. In the march to the series’ increasingly ambiguous finale, I’ve hoped for a while now that Oswald would play some big part in it like in the pilot. A tag-along’s not a terrible role for him here and neither is it anything as special as when he served as Jim’s guide of sorts to the Gotham underworld. Whether his goals now are cozying up to the police or putting Jim in his pocket, they make more sense than his random knife killings in episodes past.
Of course, Oswald’s not above facilitating a killing, right? As was inevitably his due, Oswald’s final scenes see him preside over a makeshift death match between a couple over a solo “trip to Arizona” that ended with a bullet than a plane ticket. The grim spectacle easily recalls Fish’s deadly “tryouts” among her own lackeys and I suppose, in some way, earned Oswald to the brutal, crime boss mantle he’s craved. Sure, I can believe that even the Penguin’s not above shameless bloodsport, but by now, it’s just beginning to feel recycled and on the same sets, no less.
If it wasn’t so terribly clichéd, I’d also say that the secret of the Loeb estate would feel just like the kind of dark camp that works for Gotham. There might be plenty of nice senior citizens in the real world, but apparently all of them are evil Gotham. And if your cozy bed and breakfast place happens to have an attic, than it obviously has something (or someone) creepy up in it – a demented young woman named Miriam, in this case. And her creepy bird-bone necklaces are just plain CREEPY.
Everyone else’s arcs seemed to take a breather, meanwhile, for Bruce and a still-recovering Alfred. Wayne Enterprises’ assassin is nowhere to be found and Selina finally left her apartment with Barbara to console them…and that’s it? Elsewhere, Ed Nygma’s surely winning his creeping contest for Kristy Kringle’s affections against every sort-of-boyfriend the lady has on her arm. It’s honestly tiring to see Nygma’s kookiness wasted this long and I’m beginning to think him romancing her as the actual Riddler (yes, in costume) is long overdue. Yes, please, YES.
In the ongoing saga of Fish’s Shop of Horrors, I guess Jada Pinkett Smith didn’t have to go more than a minute with an eyepatch because this week, she wakes up with a sparkly blue one for reasons as foggy as her prison’s foggy island. As strange and unwieldy as it’s felt, I’ll have to admit that Dulmacher’s “hospital” is scarier than anything Arkham Asylum gave us – the sight of Jeffrey Combs’ head on a woman’s cadaver included, because why not? It’s scenes like these that I wonder what emotion the show makers’ expect of me. Shock is definitely one of them. I’m not even sure I really want to know just what “Tuesday Salsa” nights are about next week, frankly.
Gotham’s proved time and again that it’s liable to forget its biggest moments and it’s a pile of pleasantly simple ones that made a marginal improvement this week. Minus its Franken-woman, the series seemed to have its head screwed on a bit tighter this week with a smarter main course than I’d expect and the same, bland side dishes. I’m beginning everyone did in the show really did have a Cobblepot, because if they did, Gotham might have a few more brains than talking heads.
Gotham airs Monday nights on FOX at 8/7 Central and will return this April 13th. Catch all the latest episodes at FOX.com and all the latest reviews here at BagoGames.
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